I wanted me some banana bread. No, I NEEDED it. I had to have it, but of course I wanted it to be extra special. I found a very nice Bon Appetit variation I could run with, but it needed more. Cream cheese frosting would go well... but it needed to go FURTHER! Finally I settled on candied bacon, yes... that would take it OVER the TOP. It did, and it worked really, REALLY well. I normally don't condone bacon and dessert, but this had the right balance of sweet and spice to really make you go MMMMmmmmmm. Yes, indeed.
Start by making the banana bread:
- 2 ¼ cups AP flour
- scant 2 tsp baking soda
- heaping 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1 ½ cups dark brown sugar
- ½ cup mascarpone, softened
- ¾ stick unsalted butter
- 3 large eggs
- 4 large ripe bananas, smashed
- 2 large ripe bananas, slightly smashed
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 1 tsp 99 Bananas liquor (optional)
Cream Cheese Frosting:
- 4 oz. cream cheese, softened
- 4 oz. unsalted butter, softened
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla
In a medium bowl, beat together cream cheese and butter with a hand mixer, until well blended. Add in powdered sugar and vanilla, and continue to beat until well whipped and spreadable. Set aside.
- 3 Tbls firmly packed brown sugar
- 1/4 tsp aleppo pepper
- 1/4 tsp cayenne
- 1/4 tsp paprika
- 4 slices thick cut bacon
Preheat the oven to 400º.
Place a cookie rack on a sheet pan, and place the bacon strips lengthwise on top of the rack. Place in the oven and bake for 10 min. Using tongs, flip the bacon over and genourously sprinkle the brown sugar/spice mixture to evenly coat each slice, only on one side.
Continue to bake for 10-15 minutes more until well rendered. Let the slices rest on parchment paper until cool. They should be very rigid and crisp.